Gluten- & Dairyfree Banana Bread

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Good morning folks and happy Wednesday! Some of you might have seen me sharing my ‘in the making’ baking picture of my Banana Bread on my Instagram. I love banana bread – I used to make banana cake all the time actually. Then I wasn’t allowed to have any gluten and my old recipe fell into dust. I’ve been thinking of making a similar recipe the past weeks on a constant now, so this past weekend I finally tried out throwing in some ingredients. It worked – the banana bread is absolutely delicious. I’ve had it in the mornings for breakfast with either egg or avocado and some fruit. I’ve decided to call it banana bread rather than cake, because it really is more like bread: the texture is too similar.

Not only is this bread gluten and dairy free, but also quite healthy. It has a little bit of sugar in it, I admit, however all other ingredients are organic and natural. So if any of you are interested in trying out this delicious and easy-to-make banana bread, here is what you need:

– 4 ripe bananas
– 1 ¼ cups of ground hazelnut
– 1 ¼ cups of buckwheat flakes
– 1 ¼ cups of buckwheat wholemeal flour
– 1 egg
– ½ cup of brown sugar
– ¼ of golden syrup / agave syrup
– ½ tablespoon cinnamon
– ¼ tablespoon baking powder (gluten free)
– 5-8 drops of pure vanilla / or one fresh vanilla
– 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
– ¾ cups almond milk

bake at 180°C / around 355 F, for about 45 minutes

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You want to start by peeling the 4 bananas and mashing them well until you get what you see on the bottom left corner of the above picture. I used my kitchen machine for the mashing as well, as I couldn’t be bothered to do it by hand. It is however also possible to mash them well with a fork, should you not have a kitchen machine available. Once mashed well, add all the other ingredients, starting from the hazelnut up until the almond milk. Some prefer to adding one ingredient after another and then mixing it all up everytime you have added something. Please feel free to try that as well, however, I admit I am too impatient for so much work when it comes to baking.

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Once you have mixed and mashed everything well, you will end up with a semi-fluid dough as (again) the third picture above. You are now ready to fill in into the baking dish. I used a regular rectangular one for this bread made out of special silicon. If you do not have one made out of silicon, do remember to grease the form well with butter or use baking paper instead.

Now place the filled form into the pre-heated oven and off you go – I used the time for working out at home actually. After about 45-50 minutes the banana bread was done and I can tell you my apartment smelled delicious. I let it cool off for around 20 minutes before taking it out of the form but I couldn’t wait to try it while it was still warm. One hint I can give you if you prefer it warm at all times: the microwave. If you have one and feel like having a warm slice, just pop it in for about 20-40 seconds (depending on how hot it turns) and voila, as if fresh out of the oven. The bread should hold around one week if you keep it open, however it is also possible to freeze the rest for later use.

Voila: done is your gluten and dairy free banana bread! For anyone wanting to try it out and post about it,  I would love to hear how it turned out, what you changed or what you ate it with in the mornings. Feel free to add #StylePhantomrecipes to your instagram photos and I will make sure to check out what you have posted! xo

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Homemade Salted Caramels

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (well, to those that are celebrating it) Unfortunately Thanksgiving is not all too big in Europe, and surely (sadly) not big at all in Switzerland. Though since I do tend to work with mostly Americans there is absolutely no way to miss Thanksgiving and I absolutely love the thought of celebrating it. Not to forget the food – I can never have enough food haha! Today is another special day, in my life: it’s actually my daddy’s birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!

My dad loves caramel and especially the combination of sweet caramels with a salty hint. I decided to give it a try and make my own homemade salted caramels and gave these to my dad as one of his birthday presents. It’s always nice to receive something homemade, self-made, I believe. It shows how one cares and how much thought was being put into giving. And I love cooking and food haha – so it all kind of fit together. Salted caramels are also amazingly easy to make, barely need any ingredients and are a perfect gift. And it’s Thanksgiving: so for all those that still need something quick to make, here is the ingredients list:

– 200 ml of heavy cream
– 80g of unsalted butter
– 1 tablespoon of salt (or less if you want it less salty)
– ¼ cup of golden syrup (or corn syrup if you can get it)
– ¼ cup of warm water
– 1 fresh vanilla
– fleur de sel

– baking dish
– 2 saucepans/cooking pans
– parchment paper
– enough patience for the end

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1) line the baking dish with parchment paper
2) line the parchment paper with a layer of oil (I used simple plant cooking oil) or with nonstick baking spray

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3) over medium heat, warm the butter and cream until everything melts. add in the salt and stir for a minute or two
4) in another pan, combine the syrup, water and sugar. stir it well over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and a thick grainy paste has formed
5) make sure to wipe the inside sides of the pan with a wet brush (or something similar), so that no sugar crystals are above the actual sugar paste (otherwise it will burn into the pan!)
6) once the sugar has dissolved, do not stir the mixture anymore and increase the heat.
7) once the sugar mixture starts to boil, without you having stirred it, you will slowly get a smell of caramel
8) now slowly start adding the butter-cream-mixture into it
note: once the two mixtures are added together (and boil) the mixture will triple in size, hence: make sure your pan is large enough
9) keep the heat up and do not stir the mixture anymore once everything has been mixed together
now: it’s time to wait and watch
10) the caramel mixture will take a bit of time (around 15min on my side) before it starts to darken more and more. once you have reached a rich golden, light brown color, turn of the heat and mix in the fresh vanilla
11) now immediately pour the caramel sauce into the baking dish – how amazing does it smell already?

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note: you can knock the filled pan against the kitchen counter (slightly!) a few times, to remove most of the bubbles from the caramel

12) let the caramel mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until it slowly starts to harden
13) if you like, you can now add some fleur de sel (large grained, amazingly tasting salt) on top of the hardening caramels. it allows the salt to slightly sink into the caramel and simultaneously acts as a great decoration

the caramel takes a while to harden fully, so I would suggest cleaning the kitchen, singing to your favorite song or doing whatever. Around 2-3 hours later my homemade salted caramels were ready for final cutting

 

 

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I decided to cut the caramel into smaller pieces and individually wrapped those in small pieces of parchment paper.

Note: the wrapping took forever! haha, I almost drove insane, though I do like the fact of having small portions to snack from instead of one large caramel. Isn’t it just so much more fun when you can just snack on something, on-the-go?

I quickly noticed that more caramel was staying stuck on my knife and cutting became harder with each piece. I suggest lining the knife with some oil from time to time, to make cutting less of a pain!

Unfortunately these little love-bites (haha!) are not lactose-free, which I need to look at when eating myself. I snacked on them slightly only to have my stomach get back at me a few hours later. I can assure you though, these are probably the best caramels I have eaten, ever! Not to mention, I am usually not into caramels, whatsoever.

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Ready, set, cooking! Wishing you all a great day (and happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating)! I now need to hurry to work – got two important meetings already before lunch, though also absolutely looking forward to them.

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